After rejecting an offer by University Housing to lease part of Phillips Residence Hall, residents of the Zoe Bayliss Cooperative held a fundraiser Friday night to buy a new building on the private market.

The co-op wants to find a new home before fall of 2023, when its current building will be torn down for construction of the College of Letters and Science building. 

University Housing and the co-op remain at odds over the cost of the Phillips Hall lease offer. Housing said they will still convert part of Phillips Hall into a co-op option in the fall of 2023.

Zoe Bayliss co-op rejects University Housing offer to lease part of Phillips Residence HallThe University of Wisconsin’s only housing cooperative voted to reject an offer by University Housing to lease part of Phillips Read…

“Student cooperatives can provide a unique community experience and offer a valuable low-cost alternative, and we have worked hard on this proposal to preserve the co-op option within the spaces that University Housing has to offer,” Housing Director Jeff Novak said in a statement.

At the fundraiser, attendees could go inside the Zoe Bayliss building, where they served food and played music. The fundraiser was held in collaboration with RISE, a student organization which advocates for college affordability, students’ needs and voting access. 

The co-op raised around $2,500 at the event, the co-op’s moving officer Angela Maloney said. District 8 Alderperson Juliana Bennett spoke at the event, emphasizing the necessity of affordable housing for students.

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Maloney and fellow resident Molly Nortman spoke about coming to UW without enough money to live in the residence halls. Nortman said she came from a large family with a lot of siblings and was excited to find a similar environment at the co-op.

The pair said they joined Zoe Bayliss for its affordability but ended up finding a supportive community as well. 

“Through word of mouth, I found a community that offered affordable housing for students and offered support for students,” Maloney said.